The Springfield Massachusetts Dazzling Mineral Displays!

Every year the town of West Springfield plays host to the East Coast Gem and Mineral show by MZ Expos. Each year the show has the finest dealers from all over the united states and the world, bringing to you specimens of colorful minerals, amethysts and fluorites, gold crystals and books and literature about all sorts of mineral topics! Knowledgeable people, free lectures and every year, a featured exhibit with a very special twist.

Overhead shot of the 2007 East Coast Mineral Show in West Springfield, Mass

Overhead shot of the 2007 East Coast Mineral Show in West Springfield, Mass

For many years the East Coast show followed the usual club show format, with a variety of collectors and dealers being invited to display each year. Under those conditions, the quality of displays can be unpredictable and sometimes disappointing. The first year with a special theme was 1998, when Illinois minerals were displayed by Roy Smith, Ross Lillie, and Tom Weisner.

Fredrick Wilda East Coast Mineral Display Case of Rhodochrosite

Fredrick Wilda East Coast Mineral Display Case of Rhodochrosite from 2012

The single (or limited) exhibitor theme was viewed as a way to be different from most other shows. It has given visitors a chance to view many private collections that are seldom on display to any extent. Private collectors and museums have enthusiastically participated since the start. The exhibitors seem to enjoy the challenge of displaying, and the chance to share their collections. For the EC staff, it is much easier to coordinate with just one or a few individuals. The “special exhibitor” program has been a win-win situation all around.

EAST COAST GEM AND
MINERAL SHOW EXHIBITORS

  • 1998 – Illinois – Smith, Lillie, Weisner
  • 1999 – Martin Zinn Collection
  • 2000 – David Bunk Collection
  • 2001 – Arizona – Presmyk & Jones
  • 2002 – Jim & Dawn Minette Collection
  • 2003 – Rock Currier Collection
  • 2004 – Dan & Dianne Kile Collection
  • 2005 – Harvard Mineral Museum
  • 2006 – Michigan Tech/Seaman Museum
  • 2007 – Sterling Hill Mining Museum
  • 2008 – Herb & Monika Obodda Collection
  • 2009 – Gail & Jim Spann Collection
  • 2010 – Bill Larson, Pala International
  • 2011 – Scott Rudolph Collection
  • 2012 – Frederick Wilda, Mineral Art
  • 2013 – Carolyn Manchester Collection
  • 2014 – California Collectors & Collections
  • 2015 – Martin Zinn New Mineral Collection
  • 2016 – Peter Megaw Collection
  • Glossy Smithsonite Specimens from the Gail and Jim Spann Collection, on display in 2009

    Glossy Smithsonite Specimens from the Gail and Jim Spann Collection, on display in 2009

    This year features free public lectures by Bob Jones, Peter Megaw and Kevin Downey on a variety of subjects – Admission is $8, you can save $2.00 with this coupon link. The event is at the Better Living Center and runs August 12, 13 and 14. There are nearly 100 dealers to buy from and the Mexican Mineral Collection on display, by Peter Megaw is an amazing chance to see a private collection that will show you beautiful top quality minerals from all around Mexico. The colors, shapes and forms of these classic minerals will astound you! Find out everything you need to know on the MZ Expos website, MZExpos.com

    Herb Obboda traveled in the Afghanistan and Pakistan mountains in search for the very finest crystallized minerals found in those rich deposits.

    Herb Obodda traveled in the Afghanistan and Pakistan mountains in search for the very finest crystallized minerals found in those rich deposits.

    2011 had the Scott Rudolph collection, featuring this AMAZING Rhodochrosite from Colorado

    2011 had the Scott Rudolph collection, featuring this AMAZING Rhodochrosite from Colorado

    2008 Herb and Monika Obodda Collection

    2008 Herb and Monika Obodda Collection

    Amethyst Clusters from Mexico from the Artist Frederick Wilda, 2012

    Amethyst Clusters from Mexico from the Artist Frederick Wilda, 2012

    2009 Display Case from the Gail and Jim Spann Collection

    2009 Display Case from the Gail and Jim Spann Collection

    Bill Larson's collection is rich with history and american classics, like these pegmatite minerals

    Bill Larson’s collection is rich with history and american classics, like these pegmatite minerals

    Beautiful Malachite Slices from the American Classics of Bill Larson/Pala display in 2011

    Beautiful Malachite Slices from the American Classics of Bill Larson/Pala display in 2011

    Scott Rudolph's collection from 2011 featuring this beautiful Diopside on Graphite.

    Scott Rudolph’s collection from 2011 featuring this beautiful Diopside on Graphite.


    Photos by Cindy Rzonca

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    Roxbury Connecticut Garnets at Green’s Farm – Now Closed to collecting!

    A must visit site to collect big crystals of Almandine Garnet embedded in a matrix of mica schist is the classic Green’s Farm location, in the rural beauty of Western Connecticut. The location is just a short drive from several metropolitan areas and has served as a fee collecting location for decades. For a VERY reasonable price of $5.00 per car, you can go to Green’s Farm, park over towards the trees and begin your short trek into the woods to the large deposit of mica schist in the woods.

    Here is one of the cleaned specimens of garnet and staurolite in schist matrix from the creator of Mindat.org, Jolyon Ralph’s personal collection.

    Cleaned Garnet Cluster from Connecticut with Staurolite

    UPDATE EDIT NOV 11th 2012, just a couple weeks after this post was written: I have omitted the directions to this location, but leave the map up. The location has been sold and there have been no trespassing signs posted. The new land owners are not welcoming people to contact them and permission to collect at this location has been revoked. A sad fact, this is now a historical document. Who knows, it could always be resold to someone who appreciates keeping legacy going.

    Far Away look at the garnet deposit in Roxbury
    Satellite map of Green's Farm Garnet Deposit

    From the parking area it is just a quick walk through the woods…
    Walking through the woods to the garnet deposit

    To the “mine” which is a large area of mica schist filled with garnets and staurolite.
    A photo of the mine surface at Green Farm Garnet Deposit

    All over the area, garnets are simply sticking out everywhere you look.
    a photo of garnets in the schist at the mine, waiting to be mined.

    In the tailings, there are tons of garnets, like the piece in the photo below.
    Loose Garnet Matrix from the Greens Farm Garnet Deposit

    Chunks of matrix like this one are all over the place. These little garnets are not as nice as the one below.
    small garnet crystals in schist matrix

    This sample shows that it has larger, solid garnets in the mixture of mica schist matrix. If you have a sand blaster, the mica schist comes off easily. If you do not have a sand blaster, you can simply try your luck splitting the matrix, sometimes you’ll get lucky and have a single crystal like the one below!
    Garnets embedded in schist matrix

    This specimen just popped out of the matrix. It is not cleaned, it still has a lot of mica attached to the surface.
    Single Garnet Crystal

    The Green’s Farm Garnet location is a must visit site for anyone who loves minerals and is in the area!
    We are EXTREMELY grateful to the owners for keeping a classic site like this open and accessible for all these years!

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